Jacki (Larson) Miskimins

Graduation year:

2008

Majors/Minors:

Marketing Major & Gender Studies Minor

Current occupation:

Director, Mitchell Convention & Visitors Bureau (Marketing Director)

Favorite Gender Studies class/professor/memory from your experience at Notre Dame:

My favorite memories definitely center around the friends I made in the program - including the staff and faculty! If I had to choose something specific, it would be the conversations I had in the Open Houses - chatting with professors and students from other disciplines, making connections between various subjects, and getting great feedback from my peers on issues we were researching.

Your experience with Gender Studies/gender issues at Notre Dame:

My experience with Gender Studies was transformational. Prior to enrolling in the program, I hadn't found my niche at the school and was a bit lost. The program - and the people - gave me a direction and a place that felt like home (both ideologically and, as far as the office went, physically). The Open Houses, the Boehnen summer internship, and presenting my thesis at the Undergraduate Research Conference were incredible experiences I still value.

As for my experiences with gender issues at Notre Dame... There were four girls in my close group of friends. We were smart, savvy, strong; we traveled in groups, watched our drinks, and looked out for each other. And still. By the time we graduated, three had been sexually assaulted - one violently, and two more than once.

What would you fight for? How about a culture change, ND.

How your Gender Studies education has impacted your life:

I feel that I have a broader, more nuanced view of various issues. For example, sweat shops - Yes, they are terrible. Too, they provide means for women to earn money they otherwise couldn't. The perspectives I developed in the GS program have helped earn me a reputation in my career as being particularly sharp. From the panopticon to feminist porn, from poverty to power dynamics, I see things differently.

Your hopes for the future of Gender Studies at Notre Dame:

Masculinity is broken. I sincerely hope that much attention will be paid to masculinity in the coming years.